JR East is acquiring operation rights of a British railway company

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Pick of the week from Japan, 7 – 11 August

11 Aug. JR East to strengthen its overseas business, acquiring operation rights of a British railway company

JR East (a major railway company in Japan) announced that the company had acquired the operation rights of a railroad network of approximately 900 kilos of the central part of the U.K. owned byWest Midlands in cooperation with Abellio, a railway company of the Netherlands and  Mitsui & Co., Ltd., a major Japanese trading company. JR East will be responsible for train operation management and organisation of a railroad diagram for approximately ten years from this December. It is naive that JR East participates in the operation of the railroad service abroad.

JR East has been a part of the state-owned railway company for decades., even since its privatisation and divestiture in 1987.

Now the time for a big change is arriving. Japanese specialists of railway operations will be working for a UK domestic railway company. From one domestic business to another– what a leap it is. This is a fundamental change for the staff transferred to the UK. While there are ample professional skill sets for JR East to bring and apply to operate the British company, the way of doing would be largely different between the two companies.

Exposure to other cultures is the last thing which a domestic giant, such as an ex-monopoly national railway company, would experience.

Globalization is reaching little by little but steadily to the most unexpected companies snd their people in Japan. A number of such events, large and small, will drive the Japanese population to look outside the country as their partners and neighbors.

  • The news items referred here are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The cited titles or articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.


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Fresh & hot from Japan, from 6 to 10 March, 2017

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Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

6 Mar. Am I skiing down or up hill? , An illusion slide” appears in the ski slope

“The illusion slide” by which one feels to go up against gravity was installed in the Hakkaisan Ski Slope  of Arakane, Minami-Uonuma-shi, Niigata-ken. One skis down a slope from the hight of 10 m of the slide of 10 x 10 m length and width. This is a work of the art by Professor Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University (68) known as a specialist of the illusion art.

Comments: There may be a trick in “Seeing is believing.”


7 Mar. The Metropolitan Police Department to enforce investigation of the cyber attack, creating a special independent corps of investigation

The Metropolitan Police Department will reinforce investigation system for the cyber attack from April by establishing new departments, such as “Counter cyber attack center”.  Envisaging the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics of 2020, the Police will prepare for the threat of cyber terrorism targeted at government offices and major companies.

Comments: The Olympics in 2020 is creating wide consequences in Japan.

8 Mar. Upward revision of GDP, increase of 1.2% a year based on the performance  in the fourth-quarter last year

According to the second breaking news of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the fourth-quarter of 2016 issued by the Cabinet Office,  a real growth rate was 0.3% excluding the influence of the price fluctuation (at s compared to the previous quarter of 2016). This growth rate was equivalent of annual 1.2% growth. The growth figure was revised up from 0.2% increase (1.0% increase in annual ratio conversion) as announced in the first breaking news announced in February. The positive growth continued for four quarters or one year.

Comments: Stable economic growth is good news.

9 Mar. “We don’t have financial strength to shorten time for the extension of linear express train”, said President of Central JR Tokai

Mr. Yasuhide Tsuge, President of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), reiterated that it would be extremely difficult to shorten time for the extension of linear express train the present plan of which is to reach Shin-Osaka in 2037 in earliest., by saying that the company would not have strength or financial power to constructed a sector connecting Osaka in parallel with the sector between Shinagawa (Tokyo) and Nagoya. He said so at a regular meeting of the Kansai press club, whose members are the press located in Osaka.

Comments: There may not be need to hurry up, as the existing sure express train connects between Tokyo and Osaka (over 500 km) in less than three hours.

10 Mar. JETRO got a cyber attack, 26’000 addresses may have stolen

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO, headquarters in Minato-ku, Tokyo) announced that its website had been attacked from outside. Some information has been removed, that might include e-mail address of users.

Comments: Anyone may be attacked by hackers.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.